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What Is a Wireless Network Device?

A wireless network device.
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  • Written By: Nick M.
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2014
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A wireless network device can be best defined as a network device used to connect computers and computer hardware together without cables, normally through radio signals. The term "wireless network device" itself is very broad, and applies to a wide variety of different devices and technologies. It can be anything from a large broadcasting tower to a USB adapter. One example of a common wireless network device is a wireless router. Wireless routers are used not only by at home laptop users, but large businesses and colleges as well.

This type of device works in cooperation with very specific wireless signals. In order to take advantage of newer wireless signals and technologies, a wireless network device must be compatible and up to date with that specific signal. Basic wireless routers are a good example of how devices rely on specific signals.

Wireless routers are available for a range of prices, the difference being largely due to the different signals that the router is capable of using. Wireless routers can operate on band signals such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. 802.11n requires a router with specific built-in technology. It offers a stronger signal and greater range compared to other wireless router networks.

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Different bands and signals are also what allow wireless network devices to run simultaneously without interfering with each other. Many households have wireless Internet as well as cable TV with a remote control, both of which can be seen as basic wireless devices. Using the remote to flick to another channel on your TV does not interfere with using the Internet. This is because televisions and wireless routers use two completely different bands and signals.

Aside from being a device that broadcasts wireless signals, a wireless network device may also be one that receives signals. Many video game consoles are even types of wireless network devices, which may be are able to sync with a home's wireless router to allow online game play and other features. Other examples of these devices include USB wireless adapters, wireless cards, some wireless keyboards and mice, and wireless printers. Any device or peripheral that operates by connecting to a wireless network is usually considered to be a wireless network device.

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Discuss this Article

anon175880
Post 5

I bought a new wireless router to connect my lap to internet through wifi. But my laptop is pretty old which of 2008 model (Acer) and it doesn't have wireless option to connect to internet through WIFI. Can anyone help me on how to handle this and get the WIFI connected from my laptop?

youbiKan
Post 4

Why do think we've seen some major advancements in the use of wireless devices within our society over the past decade, I think there has to be some major technological breakthroughs in order for us to truly incorporate wireless network technology into our daily lives.

Only when the bandwidth restraints that we currently see on wireless networks are overcome we truly able to develop and deliver media content over these wireless networks. High-definition video signals are very very difficult to send wirelessly over a digital network because of the amount of information that must be transmitted within that bandwidth. I do think that it is possible for us to overcome these obstacles but only when we do we see a true integration of complete wireless entertainment systems and workspaces.

thumbtack
Post 3

I think that people put too much validity in the use of wireless network devices. What happens when these devices fail and you are unable to entertain work or complete a task that you have to do? Also, I have found it extremely difficult to be able to set up different types of wireless devices and I think by over complicating the electronic consumer market with these devices will simply infuriate customers. Is a manufacturer of consumer electronic devices is smart, they will make it easier for consumers to set up their wireless networks.

Consumers should be able to un-box new piece of equipment plug-in into a power source in simply press a few buttons to be able to set up the device to work with their tools and other devices. Only when we see the ease of setting up wireless networks become simpler will we see a true surge in the use of wireless network devices. I look forward to the day when it becomes much simpler than pouring through very extensive manuals that come from these manufacturers that are often translated from a foreign language.

FrogFriend
Post 2

I think one of the coolest kinds of wireless network devices that are hitting the market now are actually audio and video sending and receiving units. These type of devices allow for audio and video signals to be sent wirelessly from a computer to a stereo or television set. The reason that this is so useful is that you are able to play any type of audio or video media stored on a computer onto your stereo or TV. This means that your limits to what kind of media delivery you can use to enjoy your entertainment system is almost limitless when you combine it with the powers of the Internet.

While some of these devices are very primitive still, we are seeing more and more devices coming out on the market every day that allow for better use of wireless technology and information to be transferred between these devices. New types of standards for wireless communication are also helping these devices become more efficient at completing their task. The sending and receiving of a wireless audio and video signal is nothing new, but to do so digitally over a data network via a home computer routing device is something that is very new. Something to also take into consideration when considering these wireless network devices is the type of definition that they are sending me signals and. Most home consumers want to be able to use high definition television signals from their computer to their TV but the older types of analog signals that were sent simply could not hold this kind of resolution.

At some point in time cables like HDMI and other expensive standards will become obsolete and replaced with wireless standards even if the device is close enough to be connected by a cable. This might seem silly but the reality is that cables clutter many of our workspaces and entertainment systems today.

IceCarver
Post 1

I have to admit that I've been absolutely fascinated over the last few years with the amount of wireless network devices that are hitting the consumer electronics market. These wide-ranging electronic devices have a variety of uses and direct their marketing towards a wide range of users.

One of the most interesting devices that I have yet to see is a dedicated instant messaging device designed for young people. This device is very basic and has a black-and-white screen, several manufacturers are making these devices and they all do one task. That one task is simply to work as a Internet messaging device that operates on a wireless home network.

By simplifying this device it is not needed that an individual actually be using a laptop computer or desktop computer to communicate via the Internet on instant messaging services. These small devices are handheld can be used comfortably when sitting on the couch while watching TV or a movie. Because of the portability of these devices, one can simply put it in your pocket and if you happen to go to a café with free Wi-Fi you can instant message there as well.

Is possible with the advent of newer types of smart phones and wireless communication devices that we will see this device phasing out but it is a cheap alternative to give to a child at a young age they do not want to entrust with a very expensive piece of consumer electronic equipment. I urge parents with young children could either computer time on the family machine by instant messaging to look into these devices as an alternative to sitting on the home computer all evening while talking to friends.

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